Pumpkin Chai Cinnamon Buns
Autumn is in the air and that means spice everything all the time. Chai is my favorite spice combination that I associate with fall. The bright, floral, cardamom paired with an array of rich warm spices is a match made in heaven. So I figured it should be put into a cinnamon bun.
If you've never worked with a yeasted dough, the best advice I can give you is don't rush it. The dough is in charge here, not you. If the dough won't roll out properly, its letting you it isn't ready to be rolled out. Got it?
This recipe takes some time, but I promise its worth it. You don't have to wait around for the dough to bulk ferment-- go for a walk or run an errand. Don't let the rise times of this recipe scare you away from making it. Its the perfect weekend project!
Pumpkin Chai Cinnamon Buns
Yield: 12 Buns
For the Dough:
3 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Plant Milk (I used unsweetened plain coconut), warmed to approx 100* F.
1 Envelope Active Dry Yeast
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Pumpkin
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil, Melted (I used refined to avoid any coconut flavor)
For the Filling:
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil, Melted (again I used refined coconut oil here)
3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp Ground Cardamom
1/4 tsp Ground Allspice
For the Glaze:
2 Cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
2-4 Tbsp Plant Milk (I used unsweetened plain coconut)
Combine your warm plant milk and envelope of yeast in a large measuring cup or a small bowl. Stir with a spoon and set aside for about 5 minutes while you scale out your dry ingredients. When bubbles appear on the surface of the milk, the yeast is good to go. Meanwhile, Combine the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.
Add the coconut oil and pumpkin to the milk and yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the wet ingredients into the bowl of the stand mixer with the dry ingredients in it and mix on low speed until everything is combined. Turn mixer speed to medium and mix for about 3 more minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl, but stick to the bottom center. If your dough is too wet, with the mixer on low speed add a little more flour 1 tablespoon at a time, but no more than 4 tablespoons.
Transfer the pumpkin dough into a mixing bowl that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. It should double in size.
Here is a good time to mix the filling and the glaze. For the filling, combine all ingredients (except for the coconut oil) in a small bowl and mix well to combine.
For the Glaze: In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Add your plant milk of choice to your desired consistency, and combine well with a whisk. I used the full 1/4 cup of plant milk so I could easily drizzle the glaze over the warm buns.
Once the dough has risen, remove it from the bowl onto a floured work surface. Roll the dough out using a rolling pin until its about an 18" long and about 10 wide rectangle (this doesn't have to be exact, just guideline) with the long side closest to you. Brush the dough with the melted coconut oil and evenly spread the brown sugar chai filling across the dough, leaving an inch boarder on the side that is closest to you.
Roll the dough, starting with the side that is farthest from you to the side that is closest to you, making sure your roll is tight.
To cut the buns: I slice the log of rolled dough in half and then slice those half in half creating 4 even sized pieces. Then I slice each quarter of dough into thirds, creating 12 buns. Transfer the buns into a 9x13 baking pan that has been sprayed with non stick spray. Be sure to space the buns evenly. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour.
Preheat oven to 350*. When the buns have risen, they will all bump into each other and not quite double in size. I've included a picture above so you know what to look for. Bake for 27-35 minutes, until the cinnamon rolls are golden brown on top. Let cool, drizzle with as much glaze as you please and devour freely.
Let me know if you like this recipe or if there is a recipe you'd like me to veganize for you!